The Utah Geospatial Infrastructure

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The Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Powered By Docstoc
					The Utah Geospatial

    Strategic Plan

         Draft 0.52
      June 13, 2008

                                               Table of Contents

1     Introduction .................................................................................................. 3
2     Vision and Goals ............................................................................................ 4
    2.1    Vision Statement ........................................................................................................................ 4

    2.2    UGI Definition ............................................................................................................................. 4

    2.3    Strategic Goals ........................................................................................................................... 4

3     The Current State .......................................................................................... 5
    3.1    Strengths .................................................................................................................................... 5

    3.2    Weaknesses ................................................................................................................................ 7

    3.3    Opportunities .............................................................................................................................. 9

4     Programmatic Goals .................................................................................... 12
    4.1    Collaboratively maintained statewide data resources are usable, dependable,
           and relevant. ............................................................................................................................ 12

    4.2    Services are effective, accessible and reliable....................................................................... 13

    4.3    Operational efficiencies are achieved through effective organization and
           communication. ....................................................................................................................... 14

    4.4    Decision makers at all levels understand the value of building the Utah Geospatial
           Infrastructure and the benefit of utilizing it to respond to needs and opportunities. ........ 16

5     Future Planning Efforts................................................................................ 18
    5.1    Implementation Plans .............................................................................................................. 18

    5.2    Technology Plan ........................................................................................................................ 18

6     Appendices .................................................................................................. 20
    6.1    Strategic Planning Procedure .................................................................................................. 20

    6.2    Survey Results.......................................................................................................................... 22

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan                           -2-                                            DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 The 2,699,554 people who live and work in the 1,330,483 parcels on 84,868 square miles
                 of land covering Utah are all affected by their location, and the location of features like
                 roads, and services like schools and hospitals. To support the myriad geographic activities
                 and decisions that take place here, Utah has a long history of using geospatial technology,
                 a rapidly growing industry of software and data technologies that leverage location-based
                 information, including geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing,
                 cartography, and global positioning systems (GPS). We have a widespread geospatial
                 community that includes hundreds of professionals in government agencies, businesses,
                 schools, and organizations in every part of the state. The citizens, economy, and elected
                 officials of Utah benefit every day from decisions and services that leverage geospatial
                 technology, and Utah state government has been consistently rated as one of the top 10 in
                 the nation for the quality of its geospatial program.
                 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the people of Utah are highly educated (#2 for
                 high school completion, #13 overall) and very literate in computers and the Internet (#1
                 for computer ownership, #2 for Internet in the home). Utahns rightfully demand that
                 information and services—including location-based information and services—will be
                 accessible, useful, and of a high quality. These demands will continue to grow as
                 technology advances, society evolves, and as our state grows.
                 Leveraging our past successes to meet these growing demands for the future, the Utah
                 geospatial community proposes to transform our current organizations, data, and services
                 into a more streamlined and robust system called the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure
                 (UGI). This document represents a strategic plan for this system, setting forth our vision
                 and strategic goals for what the UGI should eventually become. After discussing these
                 goals, this document outlines our current strengths and weaknesses, and then introduces
                 several programmatic goals, which form a road map of the steps that need to be taken to
                 build the UGI over the next three to five years. This plan does not itemize the specific
                 procedures to be performed, or the resources needed, but it does discuss the need for
                 business and technology plans that will develop the details necessary to implement the
                 listed goals.
                 The Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC), a State government agency, has
                 traditionally played a leadership role for geospatial services for the state, but the Utah
                 Geospatial Infrastructure, and this strategic plan, are not about state government. Rather,
                 this is a plan about the common interests of all practitioners of geospatial technology in
                 This plan was developed during 2007 and 2008 as part of the Fifty States Initiative, a
                 partnership between the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), and the National
                 States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), with funding assistance from FGDC.
                 The process was directed by the Utah Geographic Information Systems Advisory Council
                 (GISAC) through an ad-hoc Strategic Planning Steering Committee that included
                 representatives from all segments of the geospatial community. With the assistance of
                 Applied Geographics, Inc., significant input was gathered from the geospatial community
                 through an online survey and a series of public meetings. While not all parties agreed on
                 every issue, this plan represents the broad consensus of the Utah geospatial community.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        -3-                            DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
Vision and Goals
1.1     Vision Statement
                 The Utah Geospatial Infrastructure (UGI) delivers robust map-based information and
                 services to citizens, businesses, and government to enhance the safety, economy,
                 environment, and quality of life in Utah, through the collaborative efforts of the Utah
                 geospatial community.
1.2     UGI Definition
                 The Utah Geospatial Infrastructure (UGI) is both a formal and informal partnership
                 among the entire geospatial community in Utah, including federal, State, tribal, and local
                 governments, businesses, colleges and universities, schools, local service districts, and
                 non-profit organizations. The UGI has two parts:
                         The technical component facilitates the widespread use of geographic
                          information, consisting of data, software, networks, and Web-based services.
                         The human element consists of associations, agencies, and policies that foster
                          collaboration within the GIS community and cooperation with policy makers and
                          the public.
                 This infrastructure is necessary to acquire, process, distribute, use, maintain, and preserve
                 spatial data and services for the long-term benefit of all citizens of Utah. Thus, the
                 intended users of the UGI will include not only geospatial professionals, but also any
                 business, government agency, elected official, student, citizen, or visitor in our state.
1.3     Strategic Goals
                 The four strategic goals listed below represent a consensus of desired characteristics
                 expressed by the geospatial community during the information gathering and analysis
                 phase of the strategic planning process. These overarching strategic goals also contribute
                 to the further alignment of Utah’s efforts with the National Spatial Data Infrastructure
                 (NSDI), a federal government led effort to build a strong, nationwide geospatial database.
                 These four goals will be further defined and elaborated in the Programmatic Goals section
                 of this plan (see Section 0). Additional detail and the business case for these goals will be
                 developed in future Business Plans created for the implementation of specific activities.
                         Collaboratively maintained statewide data resources are usable, dependable, and
                         Services are effective, accessible, and reliable.
                         Operational efficiencies are achieved through effective organization and
                         Decision makers at all levels of government understand the value of building the
                          Utah Geospatial Infrastructure and the benefit of utilizing it to respond to needs
                          and opportunities.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan         -4-                            DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
The Current State
                 Utah has a very mature implementation of geospatial information technologies, dating
                 from the late 1970s. Since the early 1990s, Utah has been engaged in creating an informal
                 geospatial infrastructure that laid the groundwork for the UGI described in this plan. An
                 exemplary initiative was the Utah Framework Implementation Plan, developed in 2001,
                 which identified and enabled theme-based data stewards. This plan not only informed the
                 geospatial community, but also agency decision makers and elected officials. Because of
                 these past and ongoing activities, Utah has rich geospatial data and technology resources,
                 as well as perceptive, trained users and decisions makers.
                 Through large public meetings, small group
                 meetings, and interviews, the project team     GIS in Action: Blue Stakes
                 gained an “internal                                    A common application of GIS is to
                 perspective” about where the                           determine the location at which a service
                 geospatial community in Utah                           will be delivered, including emergency or
                 thinks it stands. This                                 disaster response, utilities, delivery and
                                                                        repair businesses, and recreation.
                 perspective included
                                                                        For example, a land developer is ready to
                 enumerating strengths and                              begin excavation for a new subdivision.
                 weaknesses in the nascent                              The plat map has been recorded by the
                 geospatial infrastructure as it                        city and county and the developer has
                 currently exists, and                                  been issued all necessary building
                 identifying many opportunities                         permits. To avoid damaging existing
                                                                        infrastructure and to comply with Utah law,
                 for enhancing and optimizing                           she calls Blue Stakes before actually
                 its components.                                        digging to have existing utility lines marked
                                                                        at the site.
                                                                Blue Stakes needs to determine which utility
1.4 Strengths                                                   owners may be potentially impacted by the
                 AGRC effectively coordinates the State         excavation so they can mark their existing
                 GIS. Stakeholders throughout Utah gave         underground pipes and cables at the site within
                 AGRC high marks as a reliable source of        the required 48 hour period. This is done by
                                                                overlaying the location of the new subdivision with
                 data and technical support. In addition,       the service jurisdictions of utility companies.
                 AGRC manages the new Utah GIS Portal
                                                                Blue Stakes should be able to rely on the UGI for:
                 that facilitates overall geospatial
                                                                 Up-to-date street centerlines, addresses, city
                 communication across the geospatial              limits, and parcel boundaries (including planned
                 community and provides free data to the          subdivisions), for the entire state.
                 public. AGRC has also been able to make         Almost instantaneous access to the latest
                 regular investments in GIS technology and        information, regardless of the original source.
                 has steadily expanded the services that it      Policies that give Blue Stakes the rights to
                 offers to partners and the public (e.g., the     access this information, including data sets that
                 newly available Web services). Another           may not be available to the general public.
                 core strength of AGRC is the direct local       Data standards and translation services that
                 support that is provided. Programs such as       make datasets from different sources (e.g.,
                 rural county grants and E911 addressing          individual counties) look the same to the Blue
                 support have been very effective and have
                 helped build bridges between State and
                 local GIS efforts.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        -5-                             DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 The Utah geospatial community is vibrant and inclusive. The community is
                 represented through two organizations, the Utah Geographic Information Council
                 (UGIC), a users group and professional association with several hundred members, and
                 the GIS Advisory Committee (GISAC), a statutory committee that works with the AGRC
                 to program major initiatives, such as this strategic plan. UGIC has held annual
                 conferences since 1991 that are well-attended, lively, and informative. Other
                 organizations, including the Utah
                 Geography Alliance (for K-12 teachers),        GIS Opportunity: K-12 Science Education
                 the GPS Advisory Committee, Utah               Geography, in short, is the science of place. Location
                 Committee on Geographic Names,                 is more than a mantra of real estate; it is vital to
                 chapters of national professional societies, success in dozens of fields as varied as retailing,
                                                                biology, and urban planning. Furthermore, global and
                 and regional user groups also serve            local issues increasingly demand that everyone be
                 elements of the community.                     aware of the role that geographic information plays in
                                                                 everyday life. Our schools are probably the best
                 Relationships between GIS agencies in           opportunity to build geographic and GIS literacy.
                 federal, state, local, and tribal               One of the curriculum standards for high school
                 governments are strong. Examples of             biology courses in Utah is, "Students will understand
                 this include the Data Sharing Agreement         that living organisms interact with one another and
                 signed in 2004 between Governor Walker          their environment," essentially covering the science of
                 and several federal agencies and non-           ecosystems. Following this standard, a teacher wants
                                                                 to create a lesson plan to use GIS, Remote Sensing,
                 governmental organizations; cost-sharing        and GPS technologies to help students understand
                 agreements for the acquisition of imagery       the ecosystem in the mountains near her school, and
                 and other data; working relationships           provide exposure to what it would be like to be a
                 between many counties and their                 wildlands biologist or land manager. This lesson plan
                 respective cities; and, public land             will create groups of two to three students and each
                                                                 group will be assigned a small region. They will use
                 planning efforts based on strong                aerial photography to map the vegetation cover; they
                 cooperation between State, county, and          will research scientific literature to predict the habitat
                 federal agencies.                               areas of wildlife; and, they will visit their site with GPS
                                                                 and cameras to check the accuracy of their maps and
                 GIS Software is widely available.               record further details about the ecosystem. Finally,
                 Although professional-grade GIS software        they will create maps, written reports, and
                 can be very expensive, related                  presentations of their findings.
                 organizations have frequently worked            To develop and execute this curriculum, the teacher
                 together to share costs. For example,           would need the following from the Utah Geospatial
                 software vendors have established system-       Infrastructure:
                 wide contracts with State government, the        a reliable, up-to-date source of base data (roads,
                                                                   terrain, climate, imagery, etc.) that can be
                 higher education system (including BYU),          accessed via GIS and Web mapping tools;
                 and the public school system, that enable
                                                                  accessible GIS professionals at the agency
                 software to be distributed freely across          governing the nearby lands to share data and
                 these systems without added costs.                procedures, and work with the students;
                 Legislative understanding of geospatial          training courses for her to learn GIS and earn
                                                                   continuing education credit;
                 technology is strong. Utah is at the
                 forefront of the nation in having the            short-term modules to teach students the basics of
                                                                   GIS and GPS technologies;
                 State’s geospatial assets and programs
                                                                  access to shared technical equipment and
                 recognized by the State legislature. Acts
                                                                   software in the school computer lab; and,
                 frequently direct AGRC to implement
                                                                  GIS-savvy science teachers at other schools to
                 mapping in support of legislative goals. In       develop and test the module together.
                 addition, the legislative research staff is
                 aware of GIS technology and many staff
Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan         -6-                                 DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 members have GIS skills and access to GIS software within their offices. Thus, GIS
                 technology is put to productive use directly on behalf of legislators. This level of
                 legislative support has been instrumental in maintaining a solid funding base for
                 statewide geospatial activities.
                 County and local governments are adopting GIS technology. Local governments have
                 been successful in initiating GIS programs throughout the state and currently there is
                 some level of GIS activity in each of the 29 counties within the state. Programs such as
                 the rural county grant program have been instrumental in building GIS capacity in local
                 government. Numerous cities, particularly along the Wasatch Front, have substantial GIS
                 programs. This widespread adoption of GIS helps generate support for GIS programs and
                 increases the likelihood that high-quality statewide data, such as parcels and addresses,
                 can be developed as well as maintained.
                 Many strong educational programs exist. Utah is host to numerous strong college and
                 university level GIS programs that are capable of producing the professional workforce
                 necessary to support GIS activity. Degrees, certificates, and/or courses are offered at Utah
                 State University, Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Southern Utah
                 University, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Salt Lake Community
                 College, and even the Utah College of Applied Technology. In fact, the introductory GIS
                 course at Salt Lake Community College is a general education elective.

1.5 Weaknesses
                 Data standards are inadequate. While there is strong geospatial data development
                 taking place throughout the state, there is an overall lack of standards that clearly define
                 the content, format, and quality expectations for key data sets. Many local government
                 stakeholders observed that if standards existed they would be willing to employ them,
                 while others suggested that aids such as templates would help more. As the State
                 becomes more involved in assembling statewide data sets from the contributions of local
                 governments, standards will be an invaluable tool for ensuring increased levels of data
                 consistency. The more consistent the data, the easier the statewide aggregation process
                 Support from local elected officials for GIS is often inadequate. Many county and
                 local government stakeholders have reported that while GIS startup activities have been
                 successful, there have been challenges in obtaining budgets to maintain GIS in the long
                 term, or expand the range of its uses. Specifically, a lack of detailed information on the
                 value of GIS applications makes it difficult to convince elected officials and decision
                 makers to make a continuing investment. To paraphrase one local government GIS
                 stakeholder, we’re better at putting GIS to use than we are at justifying it.
                 Parcel data accuracy and maintenance practices are uneven. While parcel data exist
                 or are under development in every county, the positional accuracy varies from counties
                 using high-order control points and coordinate geometry (yielding centimeter-level
                 accuracy), to counties using less refined methods with errors over 100 feet in places.
                 Similarly, our survey revealed that update schedules ranged from daily to less than once
                 per year. This variation is due to the lack of standards and funding, as described above.
                 Access to labor resources is unequal. Another problem many potential rural users
                 (especially local governments and schools) face is accessing professional GIS labor,

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        -7-                             DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 whether as full-time employees, consultants, volunteer mentors, or student interns. These
                 people are concentrated along the Wasatch Front (and Logan, St. George, and Cedar City
                 to a lesser extent), but even in these areas, the social and business networks to connect
                 those with GIS skills to those who need
                 them are inadequate.                            GIS Potential: County General Plan
                 There is not a regularly recurring                GIS enables powerful visualization, analysis, and
                                                                   integration of data that models the natural and
                 statewide aerial imagery program.                 constructed features on the earth’s surface. Whether
                 While Utah has been highly successful in          selecting a location for a new energy facility or
                 creating several statewide imagery data           preparing for future community growth, GIS provides
                 sets, each of these projects has been             extremely relevant tools for planning and smart
                 undertaken under a unique set of                  development. GIS can also improve the accessibility
                                                                   of the entire process by all citizens.
                 circumstances and funding. In contrast,
                                                                   Hypothetically, a rural county in Southern Utah is
                 many states are implementing flyovers on          working with State, federal, and local agencies on a
                 a regular schedule with annual budgets.           long-term general plan (land use, transportation,
                 For example, one state flies one-third of         etc.). It is currently routine for planning professionals
                 the state each year; so the entire state          to use geospatial inputs—such as land use,
                 always has imagery less than four years           demographics, natural resources, etc.—in developing
                                                                   such plans. However, county officials also want to
                 old. Local governments can buy into these         involve citizens in the planning process. This
                 image programs to shorten the schedule or         involvement can be more than just comments
                 increase resolution while still reducing          submitted ex post facto; rather, the county seeks
                 costs. Collaborating with the federal             substantive contributions from elected officials, civil
                 government may offer further                      servants, expert consultants, and the interested
                                                                   public throughout the planning process and on to the
                 opportunities to align and subsidize              implementation of the plan.
                 statewide image collection.
                                                                   Current technology would enable the county to
                 Geographic Information is not                     present residents or elected officials with the option
                 consistently accessible by the general            of creating their own proposals on a Web-based
                                                                   interactive map and have the mapping application
                 public. City and county governments               automatically provide an initial evaluation of the
                 have a wide variety of data sharing and           proposal using analytical planning models. If the
                 pricing policies, ranging from freely             public suggestion meets a basic threshold, it will be
                 available for download to thousands of            entered into the pool of proposals to be evaluated by
                 dollars. Many others have no written              all participants in the process.
                 policy at all. This variety of practices          The committee that is managing this general plan
                                                                   project would need the following from the UGI:
                 inhibits the free flow of data and makes
                 data sharing cumbersome. Increasingly,               Accessible GIS professionals in stakeholder
                 data-producing organizations (especially              agencies (county, city, State, federal, non-profit).
                 AGRC and the larger cities and counties)             Reliable, detailed data relevant to the project,
                 are developing public Web mapping                     pooled from a variety of sources (transportation,
                                                                       land ownership and management, zoning,
                 services that provide open access to data             terrain, demographics, imagery, etc.).
                 without necessarily allowing users to                Advisement on best practices, standards, and
                 acquire the data. These types of GIS Web              resources from other agencies who have
                 sites should be encouraged as a means of              attempted similar projects.
                 improving geographic data access for the             Technical training on developing and maintaining
                 general public.                                       Web-based mapping technologies.
                                                                      A pool of available short-term labor resources
                 Inter-governmental data sharing                     (e.g., consultants, student interns) to aid in
                 procedures are inefficient. While strong            completing the project.
                 verbal agreement exists between many
                 jurisdictions (federal, State, local) on data sharing, the process is technically
Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan           -8-                                DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 cumbersome. Typically data exchange is achieved through the ad-hoc sending of files
                 back and forth. This inconvenience has greatly reduced the participation of data
                 producers. AGRC is experimenting with technologies for automated data exchange, but a
                 truly scalable solution has not been widely implemented.

1.6 Opportunities
                 The public is increasingly aware of the importance of geographic information.
                 Location-based services are becoming increasingly widespread in society, including the
                 real-time mapping of election results on television, commercial mapping, and navigation
                 sites (e.g., MapQuest, Google Maps), vehicle navigation systems, and virtual globes (e.g.,
                 Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth). Using these tools, the general public increasingly
                 understands the relevance and importance of geography and geographic information.
                 Such awareness provides significant opportunities for generating public support for
                 geospatial programs and explaining their relevance to elected officials and decision
                 Technology for GIS integration and dissemination is advancing. Utah does not have
                 to invent new software for bringing together the data and services scattered across the
                 state and redistributing it to users at various levels of expertise. Recent developments
                 (which are sure to evolve further) make this process increasingly easy and powerful.
                 Examples of enabling technology for integration include: public application
                 programming interfaces (APIs) for commercial Web mapping services such as Yahoo!
                 and Google; service protocols for delivering application components that can be
                 combined by end users; and, geospatial data replication services and database integration
                 tools that allow information on many servers to appear as a single, virtual, federated
                 Utah is rich in data, but it could be easier to find those data. As described above,
                 there are numerous players at all levels of government creating digital geospatial data.
                 Unfortunately, the development of a comprehensive index of available digital data has
                 not accompanied the growth of data availability. While AGRC makes its own data
                 holdings in the State Geographic Information Database (SGID) readily searchable, there
                 is not a comprehensive inventory that covers the holdings of all stakeholders. As such,
                 there is a tremendous opportunity to construct such an index. Whether this index is an
                 outgrowth of the existing SGID indexing capability or is pursued by using an existing
                 platform such as NSGIC’s GIS Inventory tool (formerly RAMONA), the GIS stakeholder
                 community would be well served by a “one-stop shop” for browsing all Utah GIS data
                 Much of the community is eager for guidance in data sharing. As described above,
                 there is little consistency in the practices and costs for obtaining county GIS data. The
                 GIS stakeholder survey indicated that practices for parcel data range from free download
                 to charging over $1,000. Still other jurisdictions do not have written data distribution
                 policies and many counties are curious as to what the “best practices” are in this area and
                 what their colleagues are doing. As such, there are two opportunities in this area: first, to
                 assemble and distribute formal information on best practices for data sharing. Second,
                 there is an opportunity for cooperation between the State and smaller counties to
                 distribute county data using the State's existing infrastructure (i.e., the SGID data
                 distribution engine). Under this system, if a county is interested, they can provide data to

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        -9-                              DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 AGRC. AGRC can then distribute the data via the SGID, thereby taking this “workload”
                 off of the county’s plate. This type of arrangement would provide four potential benefits:
                  The State would gain copies of the data for State use.
                  The county would be relieved of the work of distributing the data.
                  The county would gain an
                   automatic, off-site backup of their   GIS Potential: Public Services Locator
                   GIS assets, and this backup would GIS data and analysis need not be limited to the
                   serve as an element of a disaster     domain of the GIS professional. It is now relatively easy
                                                         for GIS functionality and information to be accessed by
                   recovery plan.                        the non-GIS professional and delivered to the end user
                  The data would be made readily        in a format with no hint of the back-end geospatial
                   available to the public.              technology at work. The hypothetical example below
                                                              demonstrates both the power of GIS for integrating
                 While taking this approach may mean          information from almost limitless sources and for
                                                              providing this information and knowledge for public
                 that the county foregoes some revenue        consumption.
                 generating opportunities, it could also      A citizen or visitor is interested in determining basic
                 be argued that the four benefits             public services (e.g., voting place, utilities, tourist
                 outlined above exceed the value of the       attractions, school assignments, parks) that are
                 revenue that might be generated.             available at or near a specific location in Utah. Through
                                                              a simple Web interface, this person submits a location,
                 Providing additional support to              such as their home address, and the range of relevant
                 local government GIS programs. As            services nearby (based on the user's interests) are
                 documented above, and through                returned in real time. Such an application would be
                                                              especially useful when accessed via Web-enabled
                 conversations with local GIS                 mobile devices.
                 stakeholders, several counties
                                                         To provide and maintain this type of statewide location-
                 indicated that they are challenged by   based information service, the following must be
                 GIS staffing shortages and that they    available from the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure:
                 need help educating the County           Reliable reference data that can locate addresses,
                 Commissioners and other senior staff       zip codes, cities, place names, parcels, or public
                 of the benefits of GIS to gain ongoing     land survey system (township-range-section).
                 and “right-sized” support for local GIS  Base cartographic layers (e.g., imagery, street map,
                 programs. Thus, there is an                digital topographic maps, parcel boundaries etc.)
                 opportunity to supplement the “GIS         that allow the user to explore their area of interest.
                 startup” activities that have been       Databases of facilities, service areas, events, and
                                                            other location-based information for which users
                 successfully supported via the “rural      may wish to search.
                 county grant program” and to provide
                                                          Server-based spatial query services that search
                 further support for local government       these databases for features at or near the user’s
                 “GIS maturation.” Indeed, as AGRC          point of interest.
                 helps local GIS programs grow deeper  Spatial database technologies capable of storing
                 institutional roots, the State realizes    and hosting multi-user, distributed update
                 the benefit of more and more counties      operations, including replication for large volumes of
                 becoming effective and reliable data       GIS data.
                 partners. Elements of expanded local     Server application hosting infrastructure to efficiently
                 government support might include:          handle high volumes of daily request.

                    Several counties suggested it would
                     be beneficial to have access to a listing of third-party GIS professionals and
                     consultants that could support local GIS efforts. Such a listing could be made available
                     through a “state blanket contract” or “Master Service Agreement” that would expedite
                     procurement with a set of pre-qualified vendors.
Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        - 10 -                              DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                    Supporting county and local government efforts aimed at GIS strategic planning.
                     Support might take the form of technical assistance and/or direct funding support of
                     such planning studies.
                    Consideration of AGRC broadening the support it can offer by developing a “regional
                     office” or engaging regional associations of government, or the Utah State Extension
                     to be a resource for providing regional GIS support. Given the physical size of the
                     state, having support closer to cities and counties will improve the level of support
                 Better keeping up with administrative boundary changes and annexations. Given the
                 rate of population growth and development in parts of Utah, there is active and ongoing
                 annexation that results in the creation of new administrative boundaries that should be
                 accurately mapped. During stakeholder workshops and interviews there were several
                 cases cited where there were multiple, varying, and conflicting GIS representations of
                 municipal boundaries. Since administrative boundary data serve as an important substrate
                 for other layers such as parcels or other district boundaries (e.g., schools, utilities), and
                 since these other layers should have lines that are coincident with the municipal
                 boundary, it is critical that boundary changes be mapped accurately and in a timely
                 fashion. Given that a formal boundary change process was established when HB-113-
                 2005 was enacted, there is an opportunity to potentially improve the quality, consistency,
                 and timeliness of the State receiving digitally mapped annexation information as part of
                 that process. Such improvements may require further legislative action, but a process that
                 recognizes digital mapping is already in place. Ultimately, the end result of an ideal
                 boundary change process would yield a “definitive” municipal boundary layer that is
                 accurately updated by localities in a timely fashion and that is readily available to all.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan       - 11 -                           DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
Programmatic Goals
                 The strategic goals were developed through a broad participatory public process.
                 Additional public input was used to create programmatic goals to more explicitly define
                 specific strategies for implementing the broad strategic goals. When implemented, these
                 programmatic goals will leverage our strengths, address our weaknesses, and capitalize
                 on the opportunities described above.
                 The strategic goals and the programmatic goals all are driven by what the geospatial
                 community has declared should be the focus of the UGI. Each goal is designed to be
                 actionable, measurable, and achievable. The programmatic goals identified here begin the
                 process of planning, implementing, measuring, and achieving the desired overall strategic

1.7 Collaboratively maintained statewide data resources are usable,
    dependable, and relevant.
                 During the planning process, stakeholders identified data more frequently than any other
                 aspect of the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure. This goal is intended to address the issues
                 relating to geospatial data. Through the collaboration of all members of the geospatial
                 community in Utah, this goal will be accomplished through the following programs:
                 1. Identify and prioritize a master list of data sets, and plan for their creation,
                    maintenance, and distribution. To meet the needs of local government, State
                    agencies, other public sector users, and the private sector, a list of core data layers will
                    be developed, building on the 2001 Framework Implementation Plan. The data sets
                    will then be prioritized based on the value of the data to support decision making at
                    various levels of government, and will be articulated in tangible use cases that
                    describe the value of the data by determining both quantitative and qualitative
                    benefits. Roles and responsibilities for developing processes and establishing
                    communities of support will be identified through the development of the Business
                    Plan for this initiative.
                 2. Identify data stewards and/or custodians. The key to having data resources that are
                    dependable and relevant is to have the appropriate agencies take full responsibility for
                    the data sets that each is best qualified to create, maintain, and distribute. To achieve
                    this, the processes used to identify priority data sets will also identify existing data
                    sources and the data stewards. The best data stewards will maintain high quality data
                    through regular updating, and will work with the community to develop policies
                    relating to data maintenance and sharing, building a trust between producers and users.
                 3. Create and maintain an online inventory. Even with efforts to build collective
                    database inventories such as the AGRC’s SGID, and federated catalogs such as the
                    FGDC's Geospatial One-Stop (GOS)1, many data sets maintained by a variety of
                    entities are not included. An online inventory of data resources should serve to make
                    existing data much more accessible. Existing tools such as the RAMONA GIS
                    Inventory Tool and GOS should be assessed as possible methods for implementation


Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan               - 12 -                     DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                      of a comprehensive Utah data inventory. This inventory will help the wide variety of
                      data consumers identify and access the best Utah data for their needs. This will also
                      help to direct federal databases and on-line Web mapping services to use the most
                      current data for Utah.
                 4. Develop, publish, and implement standards. Data standards were identified as a
                    basic need to facilitate the development of high quality data and the aggregation of
                    local data sets into statewide or regional collections. Many agencies indicated a
                    willingness to share data, but needed standards to guide them. These standards would
                    cover issues such as database design, data content, and data quality (accuracy,
                    completeness, and currency). Data standards that currently exist need to be assessed,
                    and when necessary, revised. In addition, new data standards should be developed by
                    teams of interested participants under the auspices of, and with extensive review by,
                    the broader geospatial community. These standards should be flexible enough to allow
                    agencies to maintain their own internal database designs and practices, while also
                    enabling these agencies to present their data to the outside world in a consistent way.
                 5. Make the business case for data sharing. The costs and benefits of sharing data
                    come in many forms, but most can be defined and quantified. Agencies that share their
                    data in exchange for data from another provide benefits for both. If this exchange is
                    done through a centralized facility and the data is also available to the public, the
                    broader GIS community benefits. A centralized data facility can provide the data
                    steward/contributor with additional benefits, such as having off-site back-up of the
                    data. Another benefit may be a reduction in staff time used in responding to requests
                    for data. The business cases developed for early projects need to be made available to
                    others to help them justify investments in, and gain support for, data sharing
                    initiatives. In addition, template data sharing agreements may serve as a vehicle for
                    making data more accessible.
                 6. Formalize processes for data exchange between partners. Data exchange between
                    complimentary partners (e.g., a metropolitan planning organization and a city therein)
                    can be accomplished within a broad range of options. These can range from delivering
                    data on a DVD to having server-to-server replication of data that are based on
                    established data standards. Data exchange processes should utilize best practices to
                    ensure that these exchanges are efficient and provide the most current and reliable
                    data. Formal agreements should be made between participating partners to ensure that
                    expectations for the data are maintained.

1.8 Services are effective, accessible and reliable
                 The “geospatial services” covered by this goal include automated, Web-based software
                 that performs many of the functions traditionally handled by desktop GIS software,
                 including map rendering, searching, address geocoding2, basic spatial analysis, data
                 management, and basic data editing. For example, a public Web mapping site, such as
                 Yahoo! Maps, is a geospatial service that aggregates several smaller geospatial services
                 (mapping, routing, geocoding, search, etc.). To be effective, these services must be based
                 on well-defined, open specifications and well designed to meet the needs of a specific

                     Geocoding is the process of converting an address (e.g. 121 Main St.) into a specific coordinate location
                     on a map (e.g. a latitude/longitude coordinate).

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan               - 13 -                                 DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                 audience. It is also necessary to be able to integrate geospatial services with non-spatial
                 services (e.g., relational database query, blogs, etc.) to make them as useful as possible.
                 1. Create a common infrastructure for delivering geospatial services. This will allow
                    the various agencies that provide services to “speak the same language” and thus be
                    more easily integrated into the overall UGI. Utah has no need to reinvent these
                    standards. A multitude of specifications and protocols exist for developing
                    interoperable services, including those from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)3
                    which are specialized for geospatial services.
                 2. Create exemplary services to serve as a model for others. AGRC and university
                    researchers are well-positioned to experiment with new types of services, but
                    innovation is already happening around the state. Successful geospatial sites should be
                    showcased, and when possible, the underlying code should be made available to the
                    community to encourage collaborative development.
                 3. Develop services to enable data integration. The UGI needs to be able to bring
                    together thousands of data sets from hundreds of sources spread across the state, in
                    such a way as to appear seamless and transparent to end users. A variety of possible
                    architecture approaches exist for accomplishing this, including, but not limited to:
                    centralized (i.e., replicating data on a single server), federated (i.e., separate servers
                    that can exchange data in real time), and distributed (i.e., separate servers that are
                    searched separately). Further detailed planning needs to take place to determine the
                    best architecture for the UGI and what is required to implement it.
                 4. Adopt management and control processes for UGI geospatial services. Utilization
                    of geospatial services is highly dependent on service awareness, ease of service
                    consumption, and consumer confidence in the service's availability, speed, and
                    reliability (i.e., “up-time”). For this reason, a major goal of the UGI should move to
                    adopt management and control processes to optimize service delivery. Ultimately, this
                    will be a critical element of success as the services architecture will not catch on
                    unless it is robust, reliable, and performant. It should also be noted that maintaining
                    high availability and high performance for Web services is not necessarily one of the
                    historic core competencies of GIS organizations and that appropriate staffing and
                    training will need to be planned for.

1.9 Operational efficiencies are achieved through effective organization
    and communication.
                 An important part of the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure is a “human infrastructure,” made
                 up of the people who produce and use geographic information, and the organizations that
                 sponsor the work and activity. The human element of Utah’s existing geospatial
                 infrastructure can be improved through the following four programmatic goals:
                 1. Optimize the organization of the Utah geospatial community. Currently there are
                    several organizations that represent elements of the geospatial community, including
                    the GIS Advisory Council (GISAC), the Utah Geographic Information Council
                    (UGIC), regional users groups, and local chapters of national professional societies

                     See for further details.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan                - 14 -                   DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                  such as Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) and the
                  American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). While these
                  organizations have successfully advanced GIS in our state, their specific roles can be
                  unclear and overlapping. The community would benefit from being reorganized into a
                  more streamlined and efficient structure. A well-organized geospatial community will
                  be vital to creating the UGI as it will:
                          foster cooperation between professionals;
                          present a unified face of GIS to the outside world, including elected officials;
                          facilitate service activities such as K-12 mentoring, emergency relief, and

                  This reorganization may involve refocusing the roles of the existing organizations, or
                  creating new organizations. Either way, the resulting organization must have more
                  clearly defined responsibilities and authority that can help govern all aspects of the
                  UGI. This task will likely need to be completed early in the implementation of this
                  strategic plan to facilitate addressing the other programmatic goals.
               2. Involve all stakeholders in the construction, maintenance, and use of the UGI.
                  The players in the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure fall into three general categories:
                          The Stewards of the UGI are permanent organizations that take charge of its
                           construction and long-term development of individual data sets. Stewards are
                           typically organizations with a mandated or programmatic requirement for the
                           data. This will likely include individual agencies, AGRC, and organizations
                           representing the broader geospatial community, such as GISAC and/or UGIC.
                          The Producers of the UGI should include all geospatial professionals in Utah,
                           from all levels of government, the private sector, academia, and other
                           organizations. Their contributions of data, software, services, time, and
                           expertise will make the UGI vastly more powerful and useful to all than if the
                           community expected AGRC to build it single-handedly.
                          The Consumers of the UGI will include all of those who benefit from the data
                           and services that the UGI delivers either directly (e.g., digital data) or
                           indirectly (e.g., a useful map delivered through a Web page). This is not only
                           the geospatial community, but potentially all citizens of Utah, such as the
                           general public, elected officials, students and teachers (in many subjects), the
                           business community, and even visitors to our state. This group, and the ways
                           in which the technology is employed for real world problems, should always
                           be the focus of any decisions regarding the UGI.
                   To be successful, the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure must officially recognize,
                   legitimize, and clarify each of these roles, and recruit significant commitment from all
                   three types of stakeholders.
                 3. Leverage the UGI to serve the entire state. The UGI will contain a wealth of
                    information, technology, and expertise, and for it to be of maximum value, the
                    members of the Utah geospatial community must adopt an attitude of service and
                    outreach. Programs that have been successful in the past, such as the mentoring of K-
                    12 teachers and the Salt Lake Valley GIS Day, should be retained and improved;
Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan      - 15 -                           DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                       however, there are many other service activities that could be developed. These could
                       include: a "GIS Corps" that is prepared to provide geospatial support during
                       emergencies and disasters4; providing pro bono assistance to agencies and
                       organizations with needs for geospatial technology, but with insufficient resources;
                       advocating for geospatial oriented legislation and policy; and, investing in services
                       that can be easily and freely used by the public.
                 4. Use communications technology to facilitate cooperation between stakeholders in
                    the UGI. A variety of Internet-based technologies have emerged that make it easier for
                    dispersed groups to share ideas and work together, including wikis, blogs, and forums.
                    Collectively, such technologies are often referred to as "Web 2.0." It is highly likely
                    that even better technological tools will emerge in the future. The recently released
                    Utah GIS Portal should continue to be enhanced to help the geospatial community
                    work together, including forming specific communities of interest, developing
                    standards and policies, and fostering relationships (e.g., mentoring, service, advocacy)
                    between GIS professionals and the larger community.

1.10 Decision makers at all levels understand the value of building the
    Utah Geospatial Infrastructure and the benefit of utilizing it to respond
    to needs and opportunities.
                 The UGI must be based on the reality that good intentions and plans only go as far as
                 they are prioritized, supported, and funded by decision makers at all levels. Therefore, it
                 is imperative that the participants in the UGI promote official recognition of both the
                 value of the UGI, and the responsibility of all to participate in it.
                 1. Present the UGI to decision makers as a high value project and asset. Leaders of
                    data producing organizations (e.g., cities, counties) should see the benefits to their
                    constituents and others by the delivery of data in a standards-based form and in a
                    timely manner. Quality promotional materials use cases, and return on investment
                    (ROI) information should be developed to encourage them to participate and to help
                    them justify the expense of producing this information and these applications. Data-
                    distributing organizations (e.g., AGRC) should develop applications that will benefit
                    the data-producing organizations and/or their constituents as well as credit data
                    producing organizations as vital participants in the UGI.
                 2. Develop a series of key projects to illustrate the benefits supporting the UGI.
                    Ultimately, the UGI is not about geospatial technology. Rather, the UGI is about how
                    these technologies are applied to deliver real world outcomes, such as more informed
                    planning, better decisions regarding land use and development, and enhanced
                    emergency response and public safety. As such, a series of “showcase projects” should
                    be designed to illustrate how the UGI is applied in real world situations. Such projects
                    will show the importance of both data producers and data consumers who spin raw
                    data into useful information. Such projects should focus on illustrating the benefits
                    that can be achieved by supporting the UGI. These projects and companion materials,

                     “Corps” of volunteer GIS practitioners have been mobilized, generally in an ad hoc, after the fact manner
                      to assist in the response and recovery to many recent emergency situations ranging from 9/11 to
                      Hurricane Katrina to last year’s Southern California wildfires.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan               - 16 -                                DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                     such as executive summaries, can then be presented to decision-makers and the public
                     through a variety of media and forums. These outlets could include, but are not limited
                             Utah State Legislature
                             Utah Association of Counties (UAC): Commissioners, councilors, managers,
                              recorders, assessors, clerks, and treasurers.
                             Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT): Councilors, managers, mayors,
                              planners, and engineers.
                             Utah Council of Land Surveyors
                             Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC)

                 3. Develop a support network to sustain local practitioners and build advocacy. This
                    network, likely based on the organizations and communication tools discussed in Goal
                    3 (see Section 1.9 above), must provide participants with timely, concise status
                    information concerning the UGI. As the UGI develops, it will be important to
                    communicate its progress to the stakeholder community and to gain a sense of

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan       - 17 -                          DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
Future Planning Efforts
                 This strategic plan is only the first step toward realizing the Utah Geospatial
                 Infrastructure. To highlight our long-term goals, it is necessarily broad and conceptual.
                 Thus, future efforts must develop the next level of detailed plans and procedures, and
                 program the necessary funding to construct and maintain the UGI. This section gives a
                 general outline of the next steps.
1.11 Implementation Plans
                 The plan for implementing the Utah Geospatial Strategic Plan will be developed after the
                 presentation of the plan to the stakeholder community at the 2008 Annual UGIC
                 Conference, subsequent presentations, and finalization of the strategic plan. The feedback
                 gained from these sessions will be utilized in developing and refining the implementation
                 plan. Implementation will not be covered by a single plan, but a series of planning efforts,
                 including the following:
                         Prioritizing the programmatic goals discussed above, followed by a phasing plan
                          and development of assessment measures.
                         Business plans, developing precise procedures to implement the highest priority
                          programmatic goals.
                         Budget Plans and resource requirements.
                         Awareness campaign.
                         Measuring success, assessment, and recalibration.

1.12 Technology Plan
                 A companion technology plan for the UGI is currently under development. The
                 technology plan differs from the strategic plan in that it focuses on the specific hardware,
                 software, and data models necessary to construct a robust, efficient, and performant UGI,
                 especially focusing on the server end. The goals of this plan include:
                         The design of core geographic data sets that can be easily accessed by a variety
                          of users.
                         Specifications to guide the development of data sets by many partner
                          organizations (e.g., city and county governments) to maximize the ease of sharing
                          between them.
                         Common industry standards for the discovery and consumption of services.
                          This would include registering the services with the appropriate servers and
                          search mechanisms.

                 The UGI will evolve to provide new and additional Web services (beyond AGRC’s
                 current capacities) as well as other capabilities. Some of these services will be targeted at
                 programmers and developers that are building mainstream business/IT applications.
                 Other capabilities for data management may be developed to facilitate data sharing
                 through industry data interoperability standards with partners. Potential capabilities
                 include, but are not limited to:
                         Address geocoding and geographic name (e.g. Gazetteer) search tools.
                         Geocode address and return relevant jurisdictions (e.g., point-in-polygon

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        - 18 -                           DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                         A set of common base map services for both 2D and 3D.
                         Route finders between two or more locations.
                         Back-end infrastructure that includes a resource and metadata catalog, server
                          architecture, a security layer, and data and systems management processes.

                 While some of these capabilities exist today, there are a number of new business and
                 technical opportunities that require planning to match these needs to available technology
                 and data. The development of a Technology Strategy provides an approach to developing
                 these new capabilities to meet the needs of the State in the future.

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        - 19 -                         DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
1.13 Strategic Planning Procedure
                 This strategic plan aims to represent the interests of all GIS stakeholders in Utah,
                 including all levels of governments (federal, state, county, tribal, local), as well as the
                 private and educational sectors. While the AGRC has traditionally played a leadership
                 role in geospatial services for the State, the Utah Geospatial Infrastructure and this
                 strategic plan are not about State government. Rather, this is a plan that reflects the
                 common interests of all producers and users of geographic information in Utah.
                 This planning process was supported through a grant from the Federal Geographic Data
                 Committee (FGDC) Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) as part of the Fifty States
                 Initiative (a partnership between FGDC and NSGIC, the National States Geographic
                 Information Council). Project administration and contracting was provided by the Utah
                 Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC). Project oversight was provided by the
                 Utah Geographic Information Systems Advisory Council (GISAC) through an ad-hoc
                 Strategic Planning Committee, with the following members including AGRC subject
                 expert participation:
                         Dennis Goreham, Bert Granberg, Matt Peters, and Jeannie Watanabe, AGRC
                          (representing state government)
                         Dave Vincent, United States Geological Survey (representing federal government)
                         James Wingate, Blue Stakes of Utah (representing the private sector)
                         Brandon Plewe, Brigham Young University (representing education)
                         Kevin Sato, Cottonwood Heights (representing city government)
                         Don Wood, Wasatch County (representing county government)

                 Another key participant and supporter of the process was the Utah Geographic
                 Information Council (UGIC), which included strategic planning sessions in its annual
                 conferences in April 2007 and 2008, and at a mid-year conference in October 2007.
                 These organizations contracted with
                 Applied Geographics, Inc. to facilitate          Utah GIS Survey Participation
                 the planning process. To represent the
                 broad array of GIS stakeholder interests,
                 the planning process was designed to be                            Other
                                                                         Private              Municipal
                 both inclusive and transparent. This                                5%
                 included incorporating the perspectives                 Sector                 15%
                 of as much of the Utah geospatial                        15%
                 community as possible. Several distinct
                 activities gathered direct, firsthand input        Education                       County
                 from the community, including:                        9%                            20%
                    A statewide GIS survey: The survey                                         Regional
                     was created to gather factual                       8%
                     information that would characterize                              State
                     GIS adoption across the state and                                 27%
                     across stakeholder groups. Survey
                     topics included funding models, software utilization, data availability and quality, and
                     data distribution practices and issues to which GIS are applied. The survey was

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan        - 20 -                            DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
                     completed by 75 stakeholders, and as the chart above illustrates, it was successful in
                     reaching a broad cross section of stakeholders.

                    Large group GIS stakeholder             Attendance at Salt Lake City Stakeholder Session
                     strategic planning workshop:                                       Tribal
                     During November, 2007 a GIS                               9%
                                                                                         1%         City
                     stakeholder strategic planning                  Private
                     workshop was held in Salt                      Utility
                     Lake City. As with the survey,                  1%
                     this workshop succeeded in
                     attracting a broad array of 79                                                           18%
                     stakeholders and in obtaining               County
                     direct input that influenced the
                     overall shape of the plan.                                                            Federal
                                                                     Military                                2%


Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan           - 21 -                                   DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008
1.14 Survey Results
                 To be added

Utah Geospatial Infrastructure Strategic Plan   - 22 -   DRAFT 0.52, 29 May 2008

Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
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